I have a WD My Passport 2 TB, when I copy files from my PC to this hard disk (Windows 7, Seagate 2TB Barracuda HDD) I get speeds of about 100 MBps.

But when I transfer files from the hard disk to my laptop (Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.3, SSD (Laptop Link)), I cap out at 30 MBps. I've tried using the GUI copy as well as rsync.

I'm using USB 3.0 ports on both PC and Laptop.

The external HDD is formatted as NTFS.

What could be the limitation here? These are the exact same files (large video files mostly) which I copied first from PC to HDD, and then from HDD to Laptop.

  • It could be the linux driver for the NTFS file system. My experience is that read/write operations from/to linux file systems are much faster. I have seen this with hard disk drives connected via eSATA. Can you test with an ext4 file system on the same drive (and via USB 3)? – sudodus Aug 30 '17 at 14:44
  • I will try this, but any idea whether ext4 to windows copy speeds are slow? Because that would defeat the purpose. – Cerberus Aug 30 '17 at 14:46
  • Well, that is a problem. If you want to share data between Ubuntu and Windows, I would recommend NTFS because I think the drivers for ext4 in Windows are not quite reliable (at least not for writing). – sudodus Aug 30 '17 at 14:48
  • If you want to transfer files between the two computers, you can do it via a local area network, LAN. It is easy to install openssh-server in Ubuntu and then connect via sftp or filezilla or winscp from Windows. With a fast LAN you can get faster and more convenient file transfer compared to what you get via USB 3 and NTFS. See this link, help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH/OpenSSH/Configuring -- You can use it with password authentication directly, but you may want to increase the security and use SSH keys. – sudodus Aug 30 '17 at 15:07
  • I made an ext4 partition on the hard disk, now my speeds from HDD -> Laptop have improved to 50 MBps, however Laptop -> HDD is still at 30 MBps. – Cerberus Aug 30 '17 at 15:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.